Blake Stage Company Presents: Clue
The Blake Stage Company has been renowned for its countless amazing productions over the last 2 decades with titles such as Legally Blond, The Little Mermaid, and Midsummer Night’s Dream. In 2006 we were even selected by Disney, as one of seven schools in the nation to perform High School Musical. However, in recent years, many have seen Blake’s stage company as another victim of liberal art budget cuts from MCPS. This has been undermining Blake’s status as an “art school,” much to the dismay of Blake’s many art, music, and theater students.
Clue, however, did not suffer from these cuts. Clue is a triumph in every way and is easily one of my favorite Blake productions in recent years. The grand and elaborate set is immersive and definitely an impressive feat by set designer Tina Wilbur and the entire set crew. Each actor from both casts played their parts to perfection, nailing their comedic lines and pacing throughout the entire show. Clue is certainly a sight to behold and my only complaint is that it didn’t go on to perform another weekend.
With regards to the cast, each performer did an amazing job in their own right, bringing each of the colorful, and wacky suspects to life. Easily distinguishing themselves from the rest of the cast. Each character, including the supporting cast, gets no shortage of entertaining, and laugh-out-loud moments. The fast-paced script allows for a fun time that seems to fly by but also leaves you with enough time to ponder the central question. Who killed Mrs. Body? Where? And with what weapon?
As a fan of the original Clue movie, which sported its own star-studded cast with the likes of Tim Curry, Madeline Khan, and Christopher Lloyd, Blake’s cast did an excellent job capturing the energy and fun tone of that original movie which still holds up to this day despite being released nearly 40 years ago.
While the cast is certainly something to marvel at, it’s also important to acknowledge all the hard work of the behind-the-scenes crew. The incredible, complex set was assembled by an excellent team of carpenters, painters, and prop masters who had the daunting task of seamlessly bringing an entire mansion to life on the stage with the help of the run crew. Complete with a second-floor platform and secret passages. The costume team led by Jane Smith also helped to bring the characters to life with all of the cast sporting unique, recognizable looks, straight out of the board game.
Also notable, was the hard work of the sound and lights team which brought the ongoing atmospheric thunderstorm to life. As well as the overall creeping “murder mystery” vibe of the show. And as a member of the makeup crew, I’d be hard-pressed not to mention the hard work led by resident Blake Beat editor Lauren Ambe in ensuring all hair and makeup matched the time period and character personas.
All in all, the hard work of the Blake Stage Company and director Mary Wagner all paid off with an excellent performance for the Blake community to enjoy. Next year’s productions will have a lot to live up to, especially with the senior class moving on to do bigger and better things. Clue will remain an excellent conclusion to the senior’s careers in Blake Theater.